Title Tags: All You Need to Know
What are Title Tags?
Title Tags are HTML codes that indicate headings and subheadings. There are six different title tags that each assign a varying degree of importance to your headings, these are H1, H2, H3, H4, H5 and H6. In descending order, these title tags decrease in priority with H1 being the most crucial and H6 being almost futile.
The Importance of Title Tags
Believe it or not, title tags are one of the most crucial elements of on-page SEO and are often believed to be the single most important (on-page) ranking factor by many SEOs. The importance of title tags lies in the fact that they define the structure of a web page and in doing so, create a user-friendly experience that helps the reader comprehend information in a more organised way.
As well as assisting the user, title tags are incredibly useful for search engines, making it far easier for crawlers to understand the subject and depth of a web page.
H1 title tags are one of the first things a crawler interprets when crawling a web page. When a keyword (or at least a word relevant to the page’s subject) is included in the H1, the crawler instantly comprehends a brief overview of what the content on the page is about. If the H1 is misleading, too vague or irrelevant, the crawler will be confused about the subject of the web page and any initial SEO benefits will be squandered.
Typically, H2s and H3s will be used for subheadings, lists and other secondary content. When both tags are used frequently (and of course, appropriately), crawlers (and users) will see that the content on the page has delved into a fair amount of depth. In combination with a substantial word count, a structure like this is perfectly ideal for SEO.
So whether you’re an SEO optimising a website or you’re simply managing your own website, never underestimate the importance of title tags and their use in organising and fleshing out content.
When to Use Title Tags
Not all title tags are created equal. Each one indicates a different level of importance and should be used to create structure throughout a body of text.
As mentioned, H1 titles should be used as the primary title of a web page, giving an overview of the content on said page. Ideally, you should have a single H1 at the top of your page, similar to newspaper headlines.
H2 tags should be assigned to subheadings so that your content is broken down into sections, making it easier for the reader to digest. Although it’s unproven as to whether you should only use a single H1 tag, the vast majority of SEOs and writers agree that using one is the best practice and contrary to this, H2 tags can be used as many times as you see fit.
H3 tags are purposed for those subsections of your subheadings. Say for example you have a blog on SEO and one of your subheadings is “Keywords”; also contained within this subheading is a further breakdown of “Long-tail Keywords” and “Short-tail Keywords”. Both of these headings should be assigned the H3 tag so that even your subheadings have structure.
H4, H5 and H6
Similar to the ways in which an H3 adds further structure to an H2, theoretically, an H4 adds that same structure to an H3 whilst an H5 does so to an H4. As each title tag decreases in importance, the use of them does too. H1s, H2s and (to a lesser extent) H3s are used commonly but H4s, H5s and H6s are very rarely used or needed.
So when working on SEO, it’s worth stressing about H1s and H2s, especially fitting keywords into them, but don’t worry too much about any of the other title tags.
Crafting a Perfect H1
Despite Google never really commenting on title tags, there are a few factors that are widely accepted amongst SEOs.
First of all, try and keep your H1 between 20-70 characters (at least according to Ubersuggest). Although this is a vague guideline, anything below 20 characters is almost certainly too brief and anything over 70 characters is likely unnecessarily long. However, don’t fret if you break this “rule”, it’s only trivial and your rankings won’t be impacted by something so minor.
The most important part of your H1 is that it answers user intent by indicating what the content of the page is about. As previously mentioned, not only is this vital for users but it’s crucial for crawlers. Figure out your focus keywords and make sure to include them in your H1 – but don’t force them, make sure they appear naturally in your title (as with any keyword when it comes to SEO).
Yet again, you don’t need two titles for a single page. You only need the one. If somehow you think a second H1 is needed, use an H2 instead, multiple H2 tags won’t confuse a crawler but multiple H1s will.
Overall, H1s and H2s are vital for users and crawlers. They make it easier for crawlers to understand the content of your page and they make your content more organised for readers. H3s are good for further structure but H4s, H5s and H6s should be used purely for extra organisation.